Horses, beautiful horses, enjoyed and used by many Floridians for pleasure. They're not just a joy to the well-heeled, but also to the many middle class owners who see them as part of the family. And they are at risk just like those of us who have small rural farms and homesteads and also own horses.
Those of you who know me and with whom I have worked heavily in the Plum Creek, now Weyerhaeuser, rezoning wars in Alachua County can attest to my sincerity on the matter. We worked hard to achieve a result that many thought was impossible, yet the heat is never off in such matters and that is the case here. Now, reasonable development where it makes sense is a very good thing, but usually developers and those who support them decide instead to go for the overkill. It's what they do; they want to maximize their profit.
Well, that's their right, but small property owners have their rights, too, and one of those is maintaining vigilance to fight for what is right. Politics is a numbers game and when people rise up with numerical strength, they can win any battle, regardless of the cause. It just has to be done within the rules of society to make it supportable. Anarchy never ends well. But developers, usually well heeled and with deep pockets, use money to drive their cause, regardless of true merit, very much like lobbyists work with state and federal legislative bodies. The big guys win and the little guys get crushed.
You might also know that my wife and I love horses. They are beautiful creatures and they can't be kept on a cookie cutter lot, yet those pushing for development just figure that we can be rezoned out of our lifestyle and existence by buying off decision-makers. The rezoning itself isn't the culprit; it just starts the process. But the raised land value and taxes, the new regulatory requirements and the loss of lifestyle accomplishes what they want. No one thinks of anything but money in this scenario and yet they always find that in the end the money isn't sufficient for what was deemed a great idea.
Thankfully to date, we have had elected officials locally who haven't taken the bait, at least not yet. And while I don't agree with them on many other issues, after all we are frequently miles apart ideologically, I do wish them well and will continue to work with them to maintain an equitable lifestyle opportunity in this county.
One of the things I do is write about real life and, in this instance, I've written a book which describes my life as a "Horse Husband." You see, my wife, a trained equestrian, is my "Horse Lady" and if I wanted her to marry me I had to agree with her motto, "Love me, love my horses." And that story ties into my current commentary for we've lived here in Alachua County fort thirteen years, hence my involvement in the "land wars."
Now nearly seventeen years after meeting her, after the first nearly four ended with the loss of lifestyle in our previous location, I decided to write a book about my experiences in the horse adventure. I call it Confessions of a "Horse Husband," subtitle Life with my "Horse Lady." It doesn't really go into the land war issue, but I am using it to show what kind of man or woman needs to be involved in protecting the horse-loving lifetstyle. After all, Florida is a huge producer of horses, one of the top states in population of these wonderful animals as well, and not only wealthy property owners are involved in enjoying these animals. It's the little guy who will be destroyed first. It always is.
I hope you might check out my work; I think it might explain what makes me tick and why I am committed to everyone in this area being able to live their current lifestyle without being destroyed. You can read a sample without commitment and it's available in both paperback and with Kindle Books (Kindle Unlimited). The links follow.
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973307200
Kindle Store: ttps://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Horse-Husband-Life-Lady-ebook/dp/B077BSTND5/